Constitutionalist says Noynoy can't reject PGMA appointee in SC

January 22, 2010 11:08 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 22 — A prominent constitutionalist on Friday said that Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, the standard-bearer of the Liberal Party (LP), cannot reject the appointment of the next Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice if he is elected president.

This was the reaction of Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J. (Society of Jesus) on the statement of Aquino that he would not recognize the appointment of a new SC Chief Justice by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo if he is elected president in the May 10, 2010 presidential elections.

Aquino said that such appointment by President Arroyo is violative of the 1987 Constitution that prohibits the making of appointments 60 days prior to the next succeeding presidential elections until her term expires.

Bernas, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution and the present Dean of the Ateneo Law School, propounded that Aquino cannot reject such an appointment, saying that the least that Aquino can do is to refuse to swear into office the next SC Chief Justice, adding that the appointment is valid, legal and based on the provisions of the law.

Likewise, he warned that some law practitioners could go to the streets if President Arroyo will appoint the next chief justice in violation of the Constitution. (PNA)V3/PTR

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